Regional District of the Central Okanagan supports North Westside governance study

Regional District of the Central Okanagan supports North Westside governance study

The RDCO will write a letter of support for the community’s restructure planning grant application

The application for a governance study is going ahead for the North Westside.

During the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) board meeting on Thursday, July 9, the board of directors approved the request from the North Westside Communities Association.

The approval comes after a representative from the association, Callie Simpson, gave a presentation to the board on Monday, June 22, requesting that a second governance study be done.

She said the first study didn’t give the results the community was looking for.

“Our communities have been requesting a governance study since 2016. We did, in fact, receive funding for a detailed diagnostic review but somewhere along the line, that was changed to a services and issues review,” Simpson said.

Instead of showing if the North Westside can financially afford to be its own municipality or not, the services and issues review highlighted issues with communication between the community and the RDCO. It also showed community members didn’t feel that their interests were being represented by the regional district’s board or staff, which resulted in a lack of trust in the district.

Electoral area director Wayne Carson said the board’s support is great news.

“I’m extremely pleased. We’ve been working on this for four years and we’re just so pleased the board has chosen to support this. It looks like we got unanimous support, which is nice to see,” he said.

“Now hopefully, this study will answer the original question: is the North Westside financially capable of self-governance?”

Carson added the goal of the study is to educate community members so they can make informed decisions regarding the direction they want to take their community.

RDCO board chair Gail Given said the letter of support has been written and signed and once the letter is sent off to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, it is in the province’s hands.

“It’s in the ministry’s hands as to whether or not they think it’s valuable use of money. The number one thing the association wants is to understand what it would cost them to self-govern and if they’re getting their money’s value for the services they’re receiving now,” she said.

“They really want numbers… and it is my hope that the ministry will be able to provide them with some sense of the level of expense that creating your own community will have.”

Given added the communities association made it clear they are not looking for incorporation, so she and the board are a bit unclear on the path the community wants to take.

“I’m a bit unclear on what exactly what they’re looking for, but what they want now is numbers so they can determine for themselves their own outcome. I would hope that that comes about.”

The regional district board has also asked staff to include funds in the 2021 and 2022 financial plan for an independent consultant to assist the RDCO in implementing a communications strategy, which will follow up on the recommendations of the first study to improve communication between the regional district and the community.

The request for the governance study comes after the suspension of fire chief Jason Satterthwaite and Lt. Rob Gajda, with the cause of suspension still unknown.

READ: North Westside residents ask for study to determine if they should stay in regional district

READ: North Westside firefighters replaced after protesting suspension of chief, deputy


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The KLO Community Policing Office is located within the Regional District of Central Okanagan building on KLO Road. (File)
Kelowna council to consider closure of KLO Community Policing Office

Since May 2020, the office has been effectively closed, with duties absorbed into the Kelowna Police Services Building

A Kelowna Chamber of Commerce event in 2017. (Contributed)
Kelowna Chamber announces new board of directors

Directors will be ratified at the annual general meeting on March 23

Mussel inspection sit set up at B.C.-Alberta border. (Contributed)
Okanagan Basin Water Board calls for stronger invasive mussel protection

Letter sets out six recommendations for environment minister George Heyman to consider

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Riverside Centre includes a theatre hosting local plays, visiting musicians and dance troupes. It is also used for community events such as public meetings and fundraisers. Photo Town of Princeton
COVID-19 numbers provided by Interior Health show Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the 200-plus range from January 2020 to February 2021 while Vernon, with a larger population, tallied more than 600 over the 14 months. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
14 months of COVID-19 data show Kamloops cases doubling Vernon’s

Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021: 605 cases reported for Vernon, 243 for Salmon Arm, 1,246 for Kamloops

Penticton Fire Department pulled a kayaker from Okanagan Lake on Wednesday after he had fallen out of his boat and called 911. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. (Western News - File)
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s general manager Dan Proulx, left, hosted a virtual Official Opposition town hall meeting with Shadow Cabinet Minister Small Business Pat Kelly, right, and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Tourism key to business recovery in North Okanagan-Shuswap: MP

Easing travel restrictions, limiting taxation and debt management critical to COVID-19 economic recovery

Thomas Kruger-Allen is expected to be sentenced Friday, March 5, 2021.
Sentencing expected Friday for 2019 Penticton beach attack

Defense wants 12 to 18 months for beach assaults that left one of his victims with brain injury

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Most Read